Street Triple RS - a hooligan in a tuxedo
Comfort and performance in one package
It sits at the top of the Street Triple family tree.
Naturally, the 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS has more power and punch than its two lower-tiered siblings, the S and the R.
While armed with performance "extras", the RS still retains traits that brand it a street fighter motorcycle.
LOOK & DESIGN
The third generation Street Triple RS now has oval bug eye headlights.
Its form is recognisable, but there are new styling inputs like a triangular intake slot above the headlights that directs air into the motorcycle's air box, bar-end mirrors and a two-piece seat.
While the rider's seat is roomy, the pillion seat is tiny.
Viewed from its side, the 765cc RS' three-cylinder engine still takes centre stage. Just under the seat, your eye catches a glint of gold from the Ohlins rear shock.
The riding position is upright and comfortable.
While there is a slight reach to the wide handlebars, the rider's footrests are not positioned too high. Its 166kg dry weight makes it less painful to push the six-speed RS.
POWER & HANDLING
Think of the fuel-injected RS as a beefed-up 600cc sportsbike minus the pain in the knees and wrists. With 121hp and 77Nm on tap, the mid-sized RS will not disappoint those in the market for spirited riding.
Riding in sixth gear and roughly at 5,000rpm, the digital dashboard, which adjusts automatically to ambient lighting conditions, read 100kmh.
Anything below 5,000rpm makes the RS feel lethargic.
The top-spec Street Triple has five riding modes.
In Road mode, the RS engine begins to wake up at around 5,500rpm and continues to pull hard to about 11,000rpm.
What's visually cool is that in the lower revs, the customisable TFT tachometer display reads blue.
It turns to orange in the middle of the rev range. As you hit even higher revs, it turns red.
However, the power delivery is mildest in Rain Mode.
I had the most fun riding in Sport mode. With the throttle pinned, working up the gears using the quickshifter results in a raspy three-cylinder exhaust note.
In medium speed bends, I was sticking to second gear and building the revs on the exit without too much protest from the engine.
Mileage on the RS, which has a 17.4 litre fuel tank, is good. It covered about 122km by the time it had hit the half-tank mark.
The braking set-up on the RS gives you confidence. It is armed with a Brembo MCS 19-21 master cylinder, powerful twin 310mm floating front discs and Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc calipers.
This combination guarantees instant bite and stopping with just two fingers on the front brake lever.
Surprisingly, the ride aboard the RS was pliant. Its upside-down big piston forks and rear Ohlins STX40 shock present a comfortable road riding experience.
Despite being pushed a little harder and faster, the RS kept its cornering line faithfully.
It will take some time - I took two hours - to learn all the functions on the RS.
In some modes, the pre-set traction control will not allow you to spin the rear wheel intentionally or go into a brake slide.
But ABS and traction control can both be disarmed.
Despite its hooligan bike roots, the RS is a comfortable motorcycle which guarantees sporty handling and performance at a sudden twist of the throttle.
- Make & model: 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS
- Capacity: 765cc
- Engine: Fuel-injected, inline three-cylinders
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Machine price: $23,500
For more details, contact Mah Pte Ltd at 6295-6393.